Aligning with CBS Strategy
A central part of CBS strategy is to contribute as a university to solving the grand challenges of the world, now and in the years to come. “With our Nordic roots and international reputation, we must assume even more joint responsibility for addressing societal challenges locally and globally through excellent research and education” the strategy reads. Central to this vision is the students and the study environment at CBS. Some of the core priorities in this regard includes to:
- Attract the best students and transform them into lifelong learners.
- Create opportunities for transformation of the self through both self-reflection and engagement in a diverse and dynamic learning community.
- Diversify campus life to increase the inclusiveness of CBS community and the level of well-being.
In order to translate different aspects of the strategy into action, CBS Senior Management support cross-cutting thematic initiatives within research and education across CBS. The idea of cross-cutting thematic projects is that they address broader societal issues or challenges, whether pursued in research, teaching or outreach and are typically carried out across disciplines and/or units within CBS. It may include research disciplines and stakeholder engagement outside CBS as well.
“Stress prevention and well-being among students at CBS” is such a cross-cutting thematic initiative contributing to CBS’s strategy implementation. The project is funded by strategic seed-funding and links in different ways to specific elements in the strategy, including the transformative potential.
How the project aligns with CBS strategy
The project addresses an acute problem at CBS, which also is of greater societal relevance, since the issue of stress among students is a rising concern across society. By looking specifically at how stress is experienced by students at CBS and how CBS proactively can address issues of stress in a non-individualized manner, an ambition of the project is to facilitate changes in the study environment and practices potentially triggering stress; hence contributing to translate CBS strategy into action and implementable recommendations and measures. The project addresses both the learning community and at the same time cultivates the resilience of students while providing opportunities for self-reflection and self-transformation. Lastly, the project contributes to research and teaching alike and is based on collaboration across different groups, disciplines, and units at CBS, as well as engagement with external experts and relevant stakeholders.
In short, the project supports key priorities of the strategy by:
- Supporting CBS in leveraging the Nordic tradition of responsibility to better define the challenges facing our world, and to generate transformative solutions for a better future.
- Including students as a central part of a research project.
- Addressing directly self-reflection, introspection and transformation of the self in relation to a study environment and learning community.
- Having an explicit focus on well-being and the quality of the learning community to create an environment that foster optimal learning abilities and skills for lifelong learning.
- Developing activities and practices across CBS to support individual growth and transformation as well as “relationally” in the culture and greater study environment.
CBS strategy states that “complex challenges call for joint action” and that CBS holds a vision to “leverage global intellectual leadership to transform society with business by tackling challenges with curiosity, creative new ideas and collaborative engagement.” With this project it is our hope and aspiration to contribute to this vision by generating new knowledge on stress among students – with collaborative engagement and a call for joint action; to gather knowledge that can be translated into actionable and stress-preventative activities, measures and material that offers solutions to complex social challenges. Our tools to this end are: innovation, creativity, cross-cutting collaboration and transformation.
An important conversation about stress at CBS
This project is a part of a broader important conversation and effort at CBS concerning student well-being. Bringing people together, looking across initiatives, an aspiration is to make the conversation even louder, more inclusive and further reaching. The challenges in work and study life brought about by the Corona pandemic, have accentuated the need for these conversations for both staff and students at CBS. CBS@home therefore invited Pernille Steen Pedersen to draw on her research to address this topic in a CBS webinar in mid-march 2021, which produced a great response. Numerous questions and comments landed in her inbox, showing that indeed this type of conversations are important. In continuation, CBS produced a podcast, titled “Does your inner judge accompany you to work?”, where Principal Nikolaj Malchow-Møller and Pernille Steen Pedersen address the many responses they both have received on the topic of stress, shame and well-being in study- and work-life at CBS. Their dialogue covers issues around working at home and how to support each other in the times of lock-down and online work, but also looks at stress and well-being at CBS in general with a long-term perspective to facilitate positive changes. ”The podcast is about the importance of focusing on how to prevent stress and create strong communities at CBS, and what we need to be aware of to be able to acknowledge and take care of each other and ourselves” read parts of the text accompanying the podcast when it was distributed via CBS newsletter from Senior Management. It emphasize that stress prevention and well-being is a topic of great strategic importance at CBS and that the conversation is becoming louder. Listen to their dialogue in the (30 min) podcast below.